Saturday, December 20
“Make no provision for the flesh.”
Ro 13:14 NAS
THRIVING IN THE COMBAT ZONE (2)
The attack from the flesh. Your most vulnerable point is your “flesh,” which drives you to do your own thing. Its motto is “It’s all about me!” From start to finish it “looks out for number one,” always wanting to be “first in line.” That’s the genetic makeup of our flesh. And it can’t be saved, sanctified, or spiritualized because “that which is born of the flesh is flesh” (Jn 3:6 NKJV) and nothing else. “The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should” (Gal 5:17 CEV). So how do you control your “flesh”? (1) Make a choice. “Choose today whom you will serve” (Jos 24:15 GWT). During the American Civil War thousands of Yankee and Confederate soldiers were killed by “friendly fire.” Why? Because they lacked uniforms that identified the side to which they belonged. Be clear about which side you’re on, and let those around you know it. (2) Cut the supply lines to the flesh. In war time generals devote a lot of attention to blowing up bridges, highways, and railroads to deprive the enemy of the vital supplies they need to win. Your flesh can’t control you if you cut off its supply line. “Don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires“ (Ro 13:14 NLT). (3) Maintain regular communication with base command. Even well-trained soldiers with the finest equipment and best officers can’t win when they’re cut off from base command. So stay in touch: “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion” (Eph 6:18 NLT).
Sunday, December 21
“God’s Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world.”
1Jn 4:4 NCV
THRIVING IN THE COMBAT ZONE (3)
The attack from Satan. We either trivialize or exaggerate Satan’s power, and each spells trouble! The first makes you feel vulnerable; the second creates in you an unfounded fear. Understanding Satan’s ways—and your weapons—equips you to handle his attacks and resist him. How can you do that? (1) By understanding that God effectively destroyed Satan’s power through Christ’s victory at the cross. “He stripped the rulers and authorities of their power and made a public spectacle of them as he celebrated his victory in Christ” (Col 2:15 GWT). Satan’s attempt to destroy Jesus backfired in a glorious defeat that allows you to celebrate your victory in Christ! (2) By understanding that “God's Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world.” No power is greater than the Spirit of God Who lives within you. If you abide in Christ, Satan can’t control or conquer you (See Jn 15:7). Why? Because he would have to overcome Jesus to do it! (3) By understanding that you can defeat Satan because Jesus has “given you authority over all the power of the enemy” (Lk 10:19 NLT). The criminal must submit to the police officer because the officer is vested with and backed up by the full authority of the law. So when you draw on the authority God has given you in Christ, Satan has no choice; he must observe the limits you enforce against him. He can do nothing to you without your cooperation, and you don’t have to give it—and Satan hopes you never discover that.